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James Shaw doubts a 'blue-green' party would survive

Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Sunday, 27 January 2019, 3:44PM
James Shaw says that a potential new party would simply siphon votes from National. (Photo / NZ Herald)

The Green Party isn't losing sleep over the notion there'll be a 'blue-green' party next election. 

The idea of an environmentally-conscious, economically-orientated party has been floated, with one-time Green Party leadership contender Vernon Tava understood to be in the running for a leading role.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw told the Weekend Collective environmental voters already have a strong voice in Government. 

"You can see that we're making progress on tackling climate change, protecting our native birds, cleaning up our rivers and birds, so it's hard to see what a new environmental party would  add to that." 

Shaw says he finds it hard to see where the votes for the party would come from, except from National or TOP.

While the party may not get in, they still have the potential to bump Green out by taking them below the five per cent margin. 

However, Shaw says that they are appealing to different voters.

"What they are saying is they want to be a party that works alongside the National Party. People who vote for the Green Party have shown time and time again that their vast preference is for us to support Labour-led Governments." 

Whether the party will come to fruition, Shaw isn't sure as it seems like "rumour" at the moment. He wishes them lucky, but says the five percent threshold is hard to beat. 

However, TVNZ political editor Jessica Mutch-McKay says that this is bad news for Greens. 

"For the Green Party, this is not what they want to hear that someone is at their heels trying to suck up their votes." 

She says that the Green Party attracts both business-minded environmentalists and liberal activists that are more about welfare.

"I think what this new party will try and do is take that first group I described who are looking for a new home after United Future, who don't sit comfortably with Labour or National, I think this party can give them a home." 

Mutch-McKay says that there are conservation-minded individuals out there who don't sit comfortably with some of the 'activist' minded aspects of the Green Party or the Labour Party. 

"I think we are going to see some of these parties emerging, perhaps a Maori Party, perhaps another Conservative Party. I think we are going to see some coalition parties emerging." 

LISTEN TO JAMES SHAW AND JESSICA MUTCH-MCKAY TALK WITH THE WEEKEND COLLECTIVE ABOVE

 

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